Oil boom driving the Russian e-economy

The Moscow Times reports on the startling effects the boom in oil revenue is having on the Russian IT sector. The countries leading IT companies have stated it is growing three times faster than the rest of the economy. This growth is no doubt helped by the renationalisation of the Yukos Group, ensuring this money remains under Russian control.

Petrodollars are pushing government initiatives, such as Electronic Russia, which aims to propagate the use of high-tech equipment across the country. The Russian IT sector has picked up the benefits in the form of multimillion-dollar contracts.

The IT market is expanding at a rate of about 27 percent annually, triple the rate of gross domestic product growth, said Oleg Kuzhikov, vice president of mergers and acquisitions of IBS holding. Last year, the economy grew by 7.2 percent.

More companies are looking to establish a presence in Russia. Sun Microsystems now has some 300 programmers there, making Russia its second-largest overseas development location after India, said Sun’s marketing director, Sergei Moiseyev. Google have also been looking at the possibility of moving into the new IT Park in St. Petersburg.

“We are very interested in Russia and are working to learn more about this important market. We will continue … exploring business opportunities in Russia,” a Google spokeswoman said in a written response.

As we have seen in the European and US markets, when the IT industry grows the marketing sector soon follows.

Source: Moscow Times (Subscription)

Nick Wilsdon

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